Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
“Why Nigerian spouses in America are killing themselves and why homicide shouldn’t be an option” – A Rejoinder

By Justus Ekeigwe on 17/02/2014

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 3,996

I read with interest the article in Nigeria’s leading online newspaper, News Express, titled “Why Nigerian spouses in America are killing themselves and why homicide shouldn’t be an option” published on January 5, 2014. In the article, the writer, Mr. Emeka Ugwuonye, Esq., writing on the basis of first-hand experience and real life stories, noted that extreme domestic violence is becoming a “big problem among the Nigerian communities in America”, some of them resulting in homicides. He identified and explained five factors he believed are responsible for the problem, which are:

1. That “Nigerian women in Nigeria do not enjoy the type of rights women enjoy in America”, in the sense that “the concept of rights in Nigeria for women is radically different than the concept of rights for women in America”;

2. How Nigerian women perceive and use the education and exposure they receive in America, particularly when such education and exposures result in them earning higher wages than their husbands;

3. The education or a lack thereof of the Nigerian man which inhibits his ability to figure out other ways to “maintain equality of dignity and balancing out her [his wife’s] income superiority”;

4. Culture, in the sense that “Nigerian people are culturally disposed to exuberance, egotism and aggression”, which overrides the common sense and reasoning ability needed to deal with issues such as managing family finances; and

5. Still on culture, the writer noted that Nigerian families [in America] are not familiar with the culture from where “American laws and institutions evolved”; and are lacking in understanding of how these laws apply and the implications of their actions.

The fourth and fifth factors regarding culture, I believe, are at the root cause of the problem discussed in the OP-ED. Many Nigerians in America shun and utterly disregard the culture of their host communities. Rather than mainstream, many instead live on the fringes and periphery of society. For a people known to be migratory, such shunning and disregard begs the question. There are only very few Nigerians who have never left their village, town, city or state. A vast majority have, even if it’s moving from Osogbo to Ibadan, Abeokuta to Lagos, Damaturu to Dutse, Owerri to Enugu, Warri to Benin or Ikot Ekpene to Ikot Abasi, and everything in between. Whenever and wherever you move, there are always new cultures and new ways of doing things to learn, lest you commit an act abominable or unlawful in the community for example, entering an enchanted bush, coming out on the night of the Masquerade, cutting prohibited plants or trees, killing forbidden animals, etc. In Nigeria, the expression that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” is all too familiar. So, it is unclear what difference it makes when Nigerians move beyond the shores of the country.

Whatever the reason, though, a lack of understanding of the culture of their host communities, according to the writer, is resulting in ignorance of the law with gory consequences. In a country that prides itself as “a nation of laws”, whose freedoms and fundamental rights are carefully etched in written law and fully enforceable, it is preposterous that anyone would embrace such ignorance. So, if the men who have lived in America for many years refused to embrace its culture, is it any wonder that their Nigerian wives, themselves not understanding the culture, misconceive and misinterpret equal marital protection laws of the American justice system? Is it no wonder that the men themselves don’t even know their rights and protections afforded them under law?

It is sad to note that it is not only in ignorance of the law that shunning American culture is hurting Nigerians. It also hurts them in their pursuit of progressive career opportunities. Many are unable to continue with the careers they had back in Nigeria, forcing them to make changes that are sometimes life altering; while some have seen stunted growth in their career progression. It is interesting to see that for many their language expression and communication abilities have either remained the same or not changed much despite several years of living in the country. Many have little or no historical knowledge of either the communities they live in or their environs. They choose to remain perpetual strangers to their new homeland and take pride in the fact of their segregation.

The writer also noted that the Nigerian man is “more likely to assert himself [over his wife] because his mind continues to go back to Nigeria where he would have had much more power over her”. That is because they live in America in the flesh but their minds are not. There’s a certain audacity, a sense that as Nigerians, they have no place in the American society despite it being their new homeland. They choose to embrace the stereotype that “oyinbo” culture in its entirety is repulsive.

It is impossible that any immigrant, including a Nigerian immigrant, could wholly morph into an American culturally however long they live in America. In most instances, home is where the heart is. That said, doesn’t it make sense to learn and understand aspects of American culture that are indispensable for a successful life in America? If you move to the United States, you will be better off if you trained your mindset to acknowledge that some of the entrenched cultures and value systems you were raised with would not work there; and that embracing some of the cultures in your new community helps you strike the balance needed for a happy life in America.

Justus Ekeigwe, whose photo appears alongside this piece, writes from Houston, Texas, USA.

Source News Express

Posted 18/02/2014 01:33:47 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...


You may also like...
Senate moves to tackle corruption, empowers committee

APC cries out over upsurge in assassination and...

Gov. Fayemi’s help comes too late for late...

New leaders take over Institute of Global Facilities...

Buhari admits plagiarising Obama, orders punishment for speech...

ExxonMobil Chief Engineer dies in blast

Katsina: Fanatics burn church, destroy school over exam...

Group claims responsibility for attack on Enugu Govt....

FG pledges support for governance reforms in Kano...

Katakata in Real Madrid: My teammates not my...

Free newspaper readers fight over Jonathan, Buhari in...

3 Nigerian drug traffickers to die by firing...


Latest News DSS nabs 2 suspected Islamic State commanders in Abuja 2018 Budget: SERAP recommends ICC prosecution of lawmakers over cutting of critical projects Windstorm, Fire Disaster: Buhari weeps in Bauchi nPDP members to attend APC Convention: Baraje 2018 budget: FG to borrow N1.6tn to fund deficit N282.7m UBA fraud: Absence of witness stalls oil marketer’s trial Pharmacists destroy N452m worth of drugs Projects' probe: ICPC makes U-turn, withdraws charge against NDDC boss NERC grants electricity generation, distribution licences to Ariaria Market Absence of judge stalls El-Zakzaky’s trial Over 337 schools to participate in Lagos coding competition Saraki assures Russian investors of conducive business environment


Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (352,309 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (351,690 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (280,253 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (230,116 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (209,092 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (208,798 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (181,839 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (163,933 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (153,952 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (148,642 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (143,860 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (135,691 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (50) Business & Economy (3,260) Business Verdict (44) Columnists (868) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (505) Features (607) Global Business Monitor (283) International (2,045) Interview (154) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (124) News (36,375) Opinion (1,004) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,297) Religion (770) Sports (1,552) Stock Watch (30) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Portugal v Spain 2018


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera